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Mahoning Matters is honored to be among the news organizations selected to receive a partial grant in 2020 from Report For America, a nonprofit news organization dedicated to supporting local journalism.

In applying for the grant, we sought to expand our brand of solutions-oriented local reporting with a focus on the dire financial situation facing the city of Youngstown. A 2018 financial review of the city projected a $16 million budget deficit by 2023, with multiple shortfalls expected by 2020.

We have an opportunity to analyze and explain the difficult choices facing the city of Youngstown and the potential effects of those choices on its residents.

This is a project made even more critical as the Mahoning Valley transitions into reopening and recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

ABOUT THIS PROJECT

Before we published our first Mahoning Matters story, we held community forums to get a sense of what was missing from local news and what readers wanted.

Out of those early forums, we found an interest in holding local government accountable and a better understanding of the availability of community services.

It was that feedback that led us to develop Mahoning Matters’ mission: To tell the stories that matter in Mahoning County and empower citizens to engage in their community with a focus on solutions.

In applying for the partial grant from Report for America, we sought to expand our brand of solutions-oriented local reporting with a focus on the dire financial situation facing the city of Youngstown. A 2018 financial review of the city projected a $16 million budget deficit by 2023, with multiple shortfalls expected by 2020.

With this new position from RFA, we have an opportunity to analyze and explain the difficult choices facing the city of Youngstown and the potential effects of those choices on its residents.

Our reporter will utilize database reporting to measure the impact of additional cuts as they are proposed and help to present fresh ideas for citizens and the city to cope with the tough times ahead.

SUPPORT FOR THIS PROJECT

This work would not be possible without the support of Report for America, who is helping to fund a reporter—Ellen Wagner—to dig deeper and highlight these systemic issues.

In July of 2020, the Thomases Family Endowment of the Youngstown Area Jewish Federation agreed to provide $5,000 in support of this special project.

We are deeply appreciative of their support for this needed reporting and are working with other organizations and individuals to help us fully fund this project.

To ensure its success, we need to raise $35,000 to keep this reporter on top of this important beat for at least two years.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

Through this project and with this reporter, we will make good on delivering what you want most from your local news: To help foster understanding and spark discussions that lead to community-centric solutions.


I want to support Mahoning Matters’ RFA Reporter

*Contributions are not tax-deductible at this time. Those who are interested in giving a tax-deductible donation to Mahoning Matters’ reporting fund via our fiscal sponsor, The GroundTruth Project, can contact us at info@mahoningmatters.com. Report for America is an initiative of The GroundTruth Project, a 501(c)3 nonprofit news organization.